As I was walking to work the other morning, a lady with ankle weights and dumbbells in her hands power-walked right on by me.
First off, this added resistance during aerobic activity strains the joints and can cause injury to the ligaments and tendons. Secondly, it just silly.
So, if you are guilty of this, please do your joints and your body a favor by hitting regular non-weight/resistance bearing cardio followed up by your weight training.
It is a proven fact that the human body reacts to specific training (Law of Specificity). The Law of Specificity refers to the similarity between a training activity (exercise) and the actual task (goal). If you are training to run faster in a competition, then you have to run fast in practice (not use ankle weights). It is as simple as that.
With that being said, ankle weights are a great way to add progression to an exercise in the weight room. For example, a standard leg raise for the lower abdominals can be made more challenging simply by adding ankle weights or any type of weight or resistance for that matter.
Below are a few exercises that can be performed with ankle weights. The majority of exercises that can be performed with ankle weights are for the abdominals or the hips/hip flexors. I recommend performing two sets of 20 repetitions of the following exercises. Good luck and please feel free to ask if you have any questions!
Ankle Weight Exercises